Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Grocery Game--Final Review

OK, I promised you all a review of this program, and I just realized I never really summed up my experience.

First of all, I think this is a great *idea*. It would be nice to have a place to help you maximize your coupon saving at your local stores, without you having to do all the work yourself.

My first impression after signing up for the free 4-week trial (here) was 'wow, this lady has developed quite a brand for herself.' Her name and photo are all over the site, and she has some other site/message board besides the grocery game, which she promotes in banners/buttons all over the site. She seems to be a talented marketer.

There is the main product, The List, as well as forums to discuss or ask questions about couponing in general. Discussion involving specific deals or references to specific items on The List seems to be frowned upon.

I printed off the list the first three weeks of my trial, and it was a time saver to have that part all done. However, I felt that she neglected several deals that I wanted to take advantage of. My local store usually runs major sales Thurs-Sat, with the occasional 1-day sale on Fri or Sat. Well, the owner of this website encourages shoppers in my area to wait until Sun-Tue. to shop, to be sure to get the maximum savings from coupons in the Sunday paper.

Also, the list owner assumes that you will only buy one copy of the Sunday paper each week. This keeps a person from maximizing sales for Buy-1-get-1-free items.

Personally, my feeling is that a person needs at least 1 Sunday paper/insert per 2 people in the family, though I've often seen it recommended to get 1 paper per person. Currently, I buy 4 each week for my family of 10 and it's working out well. I can see that I may need to buy more as the kids get older, though.

I was especially disappointed in The List for Walgreen's, as it didn't seem to take into account the register rewards that are printed for certain items each month. These rewards are actually coupons that are like 'Walgreen's money'--you can use them on anything in the store. I felt that this lack of information was a huge disadvantage. I like to visit the forums at A Full Cup for my Walgreen's 'strategy' every week or two.

So, all that said, I cancelled my Grocery Game subscription before my trial was over. I didn't even print out the list on the 4th week. There is a Hy-Vee forum at A Full Cup where I can see a shopping list with coupon match ups for free (and they include coupons from other sources besides the newspaper, as well). That site also has a coupon database so you can easily search for coupons for any product you want, and it tells you where to find those coupons. Very helpful and a huge blessing to this busy mom!

I hope this helped someone, and happy couponing to all! :)

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